Dead Can Dance - novi album nakon triju točkica dugih 16 godina. Brendan Perry i Lisa Gerrard i dalje stvaraju sunovraćujući kozmički pop za palače egipatskih faraona. Ramzes ih nije volio ali Ehnaton navodno jest.
Dead Can Dance, the long-running project of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard, are inextricably linked to the 4AD that defined a different generation. Not the current one of Bon Iver or Grimes, but the one of Bauhaus, This Mortal Coil, and the Cocteau Twins - 1980s art goth of a particular kind. But neither label nor their bands sought that tag. And since Dead Can Dance's music incorporated sounds from around the globe and across the centuries, the description seems particularly limiting. Anastasis, the duo's first new album together in 16 years (following a variety of solo works and collaborations as well as a retrospective 2005 tour), finds Dead Can Dance firmly in their comfort zone, at a time when neither Gerrard nor Perry should feel they have anything left to prove.
Dead Can Dance always avoided a curatorial or purist approach to global music, and that trend continues here. They're as open to new technologies and recording possibilities as they are to ancient instruments like the yangqin and the bodhrán, but they also eschew the collision of samples and beats that often defines other experimenters in the field. But over time, the influence of Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard has reached far and wide. From Future Sound of London's early techno landmark "Papua New Guinea", which samples Gerrard's voice, to cover versions by bands such as arty metal types the Gathering and the more experimentalist impulses of recent bands like Prince Rama - not to mention Gerrard's own now extensive work on a wide variety of film soundtracks - Dead Can Dance's approach to sound has resonated widely.
Despite the long layoff, Anastasis is a logical progression from the band's mid-90s albums as well as Brendan and Gerrard's respective solo work since. There's nothing here quite as jawdroppingly melodramatic or proclamatory as old classics such as "Anywhere Out of the World" or "Host of Seraphim", where Perry and Gerrard's vocal strengths were matched with the sense of vast spaces, agog and in awe. But Anastasis often comes close, especially with the concluding "Return of the She-King" and "All in Good Time". Gerrard's breathtaking vocal range remains strong, while Perry's deeper, ruminative voice still feels less like a singing brogue than a calm invocation of ancient knowledge.
The split between Perry and Gerrard's singing parts remains distinct not only vocally, but for the different subjects each explores. That could be a stumbling block in other hands, but always seems to bring out the best where these two are concerned. Perry's forthright mysticism on songs like "Amnesia" and "All in Good Time" return to the origin of the band's name, the idea of awakening a greater consciousness. On strong opening "Children of the Sun", strings, crisp rolling drums, and elegant keyboards suggest an ancestral, courtly ritual, though lyrically Perry runs the risk of creating a naive paean to flower power. Yet it's precisely his controlled delivery and lack of irony - even with a nursery-rhyme nodding couplet like "All the queen's horses and all the king's men/ Will never put these children back together again"-- that transforms the song into something with palpable force.
Gerrard's vocal ability is fully intact, and her instrument makes most singers seem limited, or at least unadventurous. The other key element in her singing-- employing glossolalia, substituting comprehensive language with a melodic, exploratory rapture conveyed by her range alone-- defines her lead performances in turn, first appearing to the full on "Anabasis", her rich warmth flowing across everything from strings that suggest Egyptian orchestras to electric guitar to, at one breathtaking moment, near silence.
There's a suffused steadiness that steers the album, but with time, the individual strengths of each song manifest; the slow vocal and instrumental raptures toward the conclusion of "Agape", the beguiling sway of "Opium", where Perry sings about being unable to choose a way forward. And "Return of the She-King", one of the band's very few duets, sums up the exact reason Dead Can Dance retain their appeal. It's the kind of impact and elegance that can be hard to put into words, but searching for a perfect expression is arguably exactly what Dead Can Dance have always strived to achieve. Here, they find it more often than not. - Ned Raggett